Global StandardsMarkets

Open Source Projects Incentivised Through Blockchain Platform


Following more than a year of development, FundRequest has released a new blockchain platform built specifically for the funding, claiming, and rewarding of open source contributions. The company aims to introduce a new approach towards open source development that benefits both the developers who are creating the code and the organizations that use it, with the overall goal of further driving the applications of open source technology.

Using an Ethereum based platform, it will provide the open source community with incentives to develop solutions for their peers and businesses alike. Open source is increasingly being considered the most effective way forward as alternatives continue to suffer from hacks and failures. By using open source, a more secure and effective solution can be developed as more people can analyse the details for potential flaws or inefficiencies. The use of open source platforms and technologies, from Linux to WordPress, has seen a huge increase in adoption amongst businesses and industry over the past decade. Many organizations have begun to realise the benefits and have begun to turn to open source to develop software solutions. In the US alone, it is estimated that over $60 billion each year is saved by companies using open source technology.

Developers may work on open source projects to contribute to communities and technologies they are passionate about, or simply because the resources afforded by crowdsourced solutions are better suited to solve a particular issue. According to a 2016 Future of Open Source Survey the numbers of respondents that made contributions to open source projects was 65%: 50 percent higher than it had been since a similar survey conducted in 2010. Communities such as Github and StackExchange have grown as a result.

With FundRequest, users will be given access to a decentralized ecosystem that provides code-enforced guarantees against corruption. Due to the immutable nature distributed ledger of the blockchain, coupled with smart-contract governance, clearly coded syntax for transaction processing will counter issues currently present in a centralised intermediary verification model. The company’s system utilises metrics of functionality from projects on open source platforms like Github, supplying this data to smart contracts that autonomously disperse funding per request. Funding is only sent if a project’s functionality can be demonstrated, and will be withheld otherwise.

The addition of FundRequest’s plugin will allow users to fund open requests on networks like Github with a fund button. After setting up a Github request ticket, users can use the FundRequest interface to fund them, which generates a unique smart contract to manage the payment of funds. Ticket requesting is managed on the independent networks, whereas the claiming of rewards by contributors is managed solely through the smart contracts generated by the FundRequest platform. After a claim is proven valid all the transactions are processed transparently on the Ethereum blockchain with a small amount being deducted in exchange for reputation, and no fees going to FundRequest.

Karel Striegel, founder of FundRequest, explained: “We chose to build FundRequest on the Ethereum blockchain because it embodies the nature of open source development mixed with the immutable technology of the blockchain. The team at FundRequest are open source enthusiasts and we built our platform to solve a need that we saw from our own work at other organizations. We feel like we are doing something that is giving back to developers while also solving a crucial business need for organizations.”

FundRequest launched an alpha module of its platform in September 2017, where users were invited to give feedback to developers to implement improvements and fix bugs. Now, FundRequest plans to release version 1.0 of its platform to the Ethereum Testnet in November 2017, with features including login with Civic, Azrael communication layer between the blockchain and the backend, and others. Future plans include Github platform integration, a browser-plugin enabled funding option for Github Requests and funded issue resolution, and the ability to claim a reward on the FundRequest platform.

Matthew Warner
Based near Windsor, England, Matthew Warner is an enthusiast for innovative, cutting edge technologies. He is a B.Eng. graduate in engineering with honors from the University of Warwick and also holds an PGCE in education degree. Matthew is a member of Mensa.